In New South Wales — a southeastern state encompassing Sydney — alcohol deliveries to apartments under COVID-19 lockdown are being confiscated if booze volume exceeds limits mandated by the Ministry of Health, news.com.au reported.
The powers that be are enacting daily alcohol limits to "ensure the safety of health staff and residents," the outlet added.
News.com.au said Mission Australia's Common Ground building in Camperdown is the latest building where occupants are subjected to such rules — and it should come as no surprise that they don't like it.
Residents of the social housing development complained that care packages sent to them by friends and relatives have been searched prior to delivery, the outlet said.
"They are searching all bags and things coming into the building," Common Ground resident Robin Elhaj said, according to news.com.au. "They confiscated a series of gifts. So things like bottles of spirits — we weren't allowed to have those, and we still [aren't]."
More from the outlet:
Residents are allowed to receive a ration of one of the following: six beers or pre-mixed drinks, one bottle of wine, or one 375ml bottle of spirits.
Excess alcohol is being confiscated until lockdown rules are lifted.
Residents can consult with a clinician if they think they need more than the allowed limit.
A Sydney Local Health District spokeswoman confirmed the limits are in place in NSW Health's Special Health Accommodation where COVID-positive patients and close contacts are sent for isolation, news.com.au reported.
The outlet said it's unclear how NSW Health can enforce alcohol-delivery limits to those isolating in their own homes as public health orders don't mention alcohol limits.
A NSW Police spokeswoman told news.com.au that officers are not confiscating alcohol delivered to residential buildings and don't have the authority to do so: "In all residential lockdown locations, NSW Police are there to ensure compliance with the Public Health Orders and assist NSW Health if required."
However, a Sydney Local Health District spokeswoman told news.com.au that when NSW Health took control of apartment buildings in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the buildings became subject to alcohol consumption restrictions.
New South Wales has seen a number of controversial measures related to COVID-19:
- Dr. Kerry Chant, the state's chief health officer, in July told citizens to avoid talking to each other in order to prevent the virus' spread: "Whilst it's human nature to engage in conversation with others — to be friendly — unfortunately this is not the time to do that."
- By the end of July, the Australian military was deployed to enforce coronavirus lockdowns in Sydney.
- But hey, it's not all bad news — the city's authorities recently rewarded fully vaccinated people with one additional hour of outside recreation time. (In other words, from one hour to two hours in groups no bigger than two and within 5 kilometers from home.)